The Best of 2007 Preview

Overview

The electric Tesla roadster.  The lastest innovations from Audemars Piguet, Audi, Breguet, Christensen yachts, Ducati, Embraer jets, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce, Sunseeker and more. Plus the new face of Jaeger-leCoultre.

From This Issue

FrontRunners: Latest Buzz

  LATEST BUZZ Dialogue Technology Corp. may not be pioneering the notion that a high-tech item can be stylish, but its Flybook is the first computer to be carried by Barneys (www.barneys.com), a most fashionable retailer. This super-mini-notebook, priced at about $3,000, is lighter than any other laptop and has a screen that can rotate 180 […]

Home: Rebirth of the Cool

The contents of your refrigerator, whether they comprise a wasteland of condiments and week-old takeout containers or a microcosmic farmer’s market, can reveal a great deal about you. But the latest offerings from Thermador, Bosch, and Gaggenau—all brands belonging to BSH Home Appliances Corp. of Huntington Beach, Calif.—could help to hide your gastronomic proclivities, or […]

Commission Statement

A few years ago, when Elizabeth Segerstrom first met the man who is now her husband, Henry Segerstrom, she knew nothing about Orange County, the sun-kissed region between Los Angeles and San Diego that is his home. “I lived in New York and thought he was talking about Orange in New Jersey,” recalls Elizabeth, a […]

Orange Aid

Henry Segerstrom initiated fund-raising efforts for the $200 million Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall with a $50 million gift, the largest charitable cash donation in Orange County’s history. The building—designed by Cesar Pelli and housing the 2,000-seat concert hall as well as the 500-seat Samueli Theater—is a novel interpretation of midcentury International Style architecture. […]

FrontRunners: Railroad Treks

  RAILROAD TREKS Luxury trains are venturing farther afield—and in one case, extremely high up. RailPartners, part of the Shanghai private-equity-fund firm TZG Partners (www.tzgpartners.com), has signed an agreement with China’s Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which opened in July, to operate a luxury train service to Tibet beginning in the first half of next year. The train, which […]

Travel: A Family Retreat

Certain places always draw us back. For 137 years, the Hudson River Valley’s Mohonk Mountain House, set atop a ridge overlooking the Shawangunk Mountains in New Paltz, N.Y., has been such a place.   The rambling Victorian resort’s turreted wings visually trace its history, from the gabled ease of the 1870s to the crenellated stone […]

FrontRunners: Personal Forte

Those who feared that the restoration of London’s Brown’s Hotel (www.brownshotel.com) would be a desecration of sacred ground can rest easy. The $35 million makeover, overseen by owner Sir Rocco Forte and his director of design, Olga Polizzi, retains the refined English charm that has captivated guests since the hotel’s opening in 1837. Diners in […]

Journeys: Reef Reconnaissance

I should have bought a new mask before coming to the Maldives. A month ago, while I was on a trip to Belize, a bottle of habanero sauce broke in my suitcase and soaked into my mask, and now it is burning my face. To make matters worse, I am being tested on my diving […]

Journeys: Reef Reconnaissance: Diving into the Maldives

Most of the upscale resorts in the Maldives are on private islands. The government restricts visitation to the country’s inhabited areas, so contact with the local culture is limited. Because you will spend most of your time on a private island or on the water, choosing the right resort is essential.   ONE&ONLY REETHI RAH Opened […]

Private Preview 2007: The Pearl

Say one thing for the people of Qatar: Although they have become the wealthiest people in the world, they have not grown standoffish. On the contrary, they are laying out the welcome mat. In fact, they are making it increasingly difficult to stay away from their tiny Persian Gulf emirate. Wherever you look in Doha, […]

Art: Northern Lights

While traveling near his home in northern Quebec in the early 1900s, the late Inuit artist Joe Talirunili, a young boy at the time, and other members of his small community became trapped on an ice floe in Hudson Bay. The elders, realizing the party could soon perish from starvation, managed to fashion an umiak—a […]

Spirits: Numbers Game

Julio Bermejo, tequila expert and owner of Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, a San Francisco institution for the last four decades, recalls vividly the 1998 debut of Jose Cuervo’s 1800 Colección. “It blew people’s minds,” he says of the limited-edition añejo, or barrel-aged spirit, made of 100 percent blue weber agave. “It was one barrel to satisfy […]

Wine: Selling “The Cellar”

There exists in the world a wine collection so rare and extensive that, in oenophilic circles, it is known simply as “The Cellar.” Despite his cellar’s importance, however, the young owner of this fabled trove regards it less as a collection than as an opportunity to share with others his passion for wine. At a […]

Dining: Le Cirque Is Back in Town

Sirio Maccioni may be 74 and the owner of several successful restaurants, including branches of Le Cirque in Las Vegas and Mexico City, but he remains vulnerable to the slings and arrows of bad reviews. After a prominent newspaper publishes a lukewarm review of the third Manhattan version of Le Cirque, which opened in late […]

Smoke: I Love the 80s

At cigar maker Avo Uvezian’s 80th birthday celebration this summer in Santiago, Dominican Republic, many descriptions of his latest creation were uttered. While turning an Avo 80th Anniversary Limited Edition in his hand after savoring his first few puffs, one attendee noted, “It’s like a Mercedes sedan with 600 horsepower.” That may have been the […]

FrontRunners: Domestic Bliss

  DOMESTIC BLISS Doctors may no longer make house calls, but there is a sommelier who will. Wines on the Fly, a program offered by Sam’s Wines & Spirits (www.samswine.com) of Chicago, will bring 24 wines directly to wherever you wish for a private tasting. For a group of eight or more, Sam’s co-owner Brian Rosen […]

FrontRunners: What’s Cooking

Two well-regarded designers have opened new displays of custom kitchens. Smallbone of Devizes (www.smallboneofdevizes.com), a company founded by self-trained British designer Charlie Smallbone, has launched its first U.S. shop, in Manhattan. Small-bone’s kitchen pieces (the firm also makes custom bedroom and bathroom furniture) vary stylistically, from the country- influenced Original Hand Painted series to the […]

FrontRunners: From The Robb Cellar

After co-founding and growing a publicly traded company of more than 7,000 employees, entrepreneur Donn Chappellet took stock of his life, sold his stock in his company, and moved in the late 1960s to Napa Valley, which in those days was only beginning to revive the once-thriving wine industry that had withered in the wake […]

FrontRunners: Space To Unwind

On a typical Friday night at Republic (www.therepublicla.com), a new 12,000-square-foot restaurant on North La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles, it is not uncommon to find 120 patrons in the main dining room, studio executives screening a movie in the event area, and a downtown law firm celebrating a victory in the private dining room […]

Music: Picking and Grinning

The walls of Gruhn Guitars, George Gruhn’s shop in Nashville, Tenn., are lined with vintage electric, acoustic, and steel guitars, as well as mandolins, ukuleles, and violins, but on this busy morning in June, the proprietor is appraising a 1933 Gibson Mastertone banjo. Gruhn scrutinizes it and then plays it briefly before calling for Charlie […]

FrontRunners: Select Smoke

The wrapper is the most costly leaf in a cigar—and the Cusano 18 Maduro incorporates three in an unusual double-maduro blend. The outer wrapper, a chocolaty 1996 Connecticut maduro leaf, conceals a binder made from a 1999 Dominican San Vicente Olor maduro wrapper. The filler contains a wrapper, too: a 1996 Brazilian Matafina leaf, blended with […]

Private Preview 2007: Tesla Roadster

When the Tesla Roadster goes into production less than a year from now, it will come with a Lotus chassis, a $100,000 price tag, and a zero-to-60-mph time of four seconds. And unlike any other car with that type of performance capability, the Tesla will produce zero guilt pangs. The vehicle will drive, look, and […]

Private Preview 2007: GG Quad

Renaissance artists frequently were called upon to conjure up images of creatures that they had never observed. Albrecht Dürer’s imaginative Rhinoceros and other animalistic interpretations from the era invariably are amalgams of anatomical bits ranging from fish to fowl, friendly to ferocious. They never, however, fail to entertain. As mechanical creations go, the GG Quad—a […]

Private Preview 2007: Lady Joy II

When grammy-nominated songwriter Denise Rich takes possession of Lady Joy II, her new 157-foot Christensen, in May of next year, she will be cruising aboard hull number 31 of a series that offers unusually rapid delivery times for superyachts. Christensen has been constructing custom vessels at its shipyard in Vancouver, Wash., since 1983, but in […]

Private Preview 2007: Queen Victoria

A third queen soon will reign over the seas. In December 2007, Cunard will send Queen Victoria on its maiden voyage, a 10-night journey from Southampton, England, to five western European ports. The ship’s debut will take place nearly four years after Cunard’s launching of Queen Mary 2 and four decades after its launching of […]

Private Preview 2007: Capella Hotels & Resorts

Horst Schulze’s career, which he began as a bellboy in his native Germany at the age of 14, could have culminated triumphantly when he reinvented Ritz-Carlton Hotels while serving as president, COO, and, ultimately, vice chairman of the company from 1988 through 2002. But Schulze, now 66, could not bring himself to retire. “Some people […]

Private Preview 2007: Jaguar XKR

This latest two-car clique, this high-powered upgrading of a recently refreshed coupe and a gently elegant roadster, may be recorded as England’s most regal union since Victoria and Albert. That is not to say that this summer’s warm-up acts, the 2007 Jaguar XK hardtop and ragtop, have been smudging the company’s royal warrants. But the […]

Private Preview 2007: Fathom Z

Submarines have existed since 1620, when the Dutch inventor Cornelius Van Drebbel wrapped a boat in greased leather and navigated the Thames 15 feet beneath the water’s surface. Like the original, which Van Drebbel maneuvered with a pair of oars, most subs that followed have been awkward affairs—especially the smaller, one- or two-person models. These […]

Private Preview 2007: Rocket Racing League

A newly formed racing organization flies in the face of the belief that sports are not rocket science. “We have the technology now to create a 21st-century racing league for a 21st-century audience,” says Granger Whitelaw, president and co-founder of the Rocket Racing League, which plans to begin its inaugural season of competitions next year. […]

Private Preview 2007: Capella Hotels & Resorts: Rising Stars

Capella Castlemartyr is the first of five properties that Capella Hotels & Resorts plans to open in the next 18 months. The remaining four—Schloss Velden, Dunboy Castle, Breidenbacher Hof, and Capella Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas—will be followed by additional projects in Asia, Europe, and North America.   Schloss Velden: This property on the shores […]

Private Preview 2007: Ducati Desmosedici RR

Next July, Ducati will introduce its ultimate street-legal offering: a true replica of the Desmosedici GP6 that is competing in the 2006 MotoGP World Championship. Dubbed the Desmosedici RR, the new bike benefits from the most advanced engineering, technology, and materials ever lavished on a Ducati—or likely any other—road-going motorcycle. The heart of every Ducati […]

Private Preview 2007: Capella Hotels & Resorts: Approaching Retreats

The five properties from Capella are among several promising new hotels and resorts that will open in the next two years. Highlights range from Ritz-Carlton’s first hotel in Russia to an environmentally sustainable hideaway on Marlon Brando’s former atoll in Polynesia.   Mayakoba: This new megaresort along Mexico’s Riviera Maya, 40 minutes south of Cancún, […]

Private Preview 2007: Audemars Piguet Millenary MC12

Audemars Piguet initially delved into automotive-themed watches last year with the highly coveted, limited-edition Royal Oak Offshore Juan Pablo Montoya chronograph and the simpler but striking dual-time-zone Millenary Maserati, the company’s first watch produced in partnership with the Italian sports car maker. Early next year, the Swiss manufacture will begin delivering the Millenary MC12 tourbillon […]

Private Preview 2007: Vintage 2005

Even among the fortune-plagued Olympians, Bacchus was an unlucky god. His mother, a Theban princess, was struck by a thunderbolt from his father, Zeus. Zeus wife, Hera, drove his adoptive parents mad—then drove him mad as well. King Lycurgus of Thrace imprisoned his followers, the drunken Bacchantes, and while he was en route to Naxos, […]

Private Preview 2007: St. Andrews Golf: Linking To The Homeland

A hundred miles north of St. Andrews, American businessman Donald Trump plans to dig into his Scottish roots (his mother was born in Scotland) with a new golf resort that will include two links-style courses. Trump’s site, which sits along the North Sea on the Menie Estate, just north of Balmedie, encompasses approximately 800 acres […]

Private Preview 2007: Gordon Ramsay At The London

Those familiar with the Fox network program Hell’s Kitchen know Gordon Ramsay as the tyrannical chef who shouts at his charges and occasionally at the diners who patronize the restaurant, which is in fact a Los Angeles television studio. Ramsay previously starred in three BBC documentary series and a British version of Hell’s Kitchen, but […]

Private Preview 2007: The O Property Collection

Amanresorts was among the first luxury brands to establish accommodations on Turks and Caicos, the British West Indies islands on the Bahamas’ southeast fringe. The firm’s Amanyara resort, an assemblage of lavish pavilions, soon will have as company the Ritz-Carlton Molasses Reef resort (in 2008) and the Fairmont Turks & Caicos (in 2009). But the […]

Private Preview 2007: Diamond in the Rough

A diamond usually is coveted for its brilliant sparkle, the result of light reflecting off the dozens of precisely positioned facets that a diamond cutter has made. But not everyone believes that this type of human intervention enhances the appearance of the gem. For his new collection of edgy and innovative jewelry designs, Daniel Eskapa, […]

Private Preview 2007: Drive & Race Club

The sleepy village of Monticello in New York, where life moves decidedly more slowly than it does 100 miles to the south in Manhattan, will begin to pick up the pace next summer, when it will become home to one of the country’s largest private racetracks. The Drive & Race Club’s 3.37-mile course, a curving […]

Private Preview 2007: Rolls-Royce Corniche

The second Rolls-Royce model line to be built at the new Goodwood, England, factory will be a slightly modified version of the 100EX Centenary Experimental Car (pictured) that was first seen at the Geneva auto show in 2004. This new Rolls-Royce, carrying a price of at least $400,000, should be available by the middle of […]

Private Preview 2007: Embraer Lineage 1000

During the last decade, the top two commercial aircraft manufacturers also have dominated the market for the largest corporate jets: Boeing, with its Boeing Business Jet (and BBJ2 and BBJ3 descendants), and Airbus, with its A318 Elite, A319 Corporate Jetliner (ACJ), and A320 Prestige. All are commercial airliners that the builders have modified for private […]

Private Preview 2007: Oceanco 702

Subtle is not the adjective that will jump to the tongue when Oceanco introduces its 702 superyacht next summer. At 269 feet long and almost 47 feet wide, this boat will turn heads when it pulls into any port, even one where the locals are as jaded as they are in Monaco, the site of […]

Private Preview 2007: Supersonic Business Jets

On October 14, 1947, when an Air Force captain named Chuck Yeager flew a rocket-propelled Bell XS-1 plane faster than Mach 1 (about 760 mph) over the town of Victorville, Calif., the accompanying sonic boom heralded a new era of flight. The promise was first realized in military jets, which now can reach speeds as […]

Private Preview 2007: Personal Air Vehicles

In 1949, a fellow named Molt Taylor, working in Longview, Wash., built a flying car. The vehicle, which he dubbed the Aerocar, never caught on: It proved difficult to operate in bad weather and, ultimately, was too expensive to produce. In addition, people cringed at the thought of thousands of personal planes filling the skies. […]

Private Preview 2007: Audi R8

With the advent of the R10, the turbo-diesel-powered prototype that is dominating the international Le Mans circuits, Audi’s R8 racecar recently went the way of the dodo. But a sports car of the same name—based on the so-called “Le Mans Quattro” concept that debuted three years ago in Frankfurt—soon will go into production and could […]

Private Preview 2007: Personal Air Vehicles: The Early Birds

Almost as soon as automobiles existed, men dreamed of flying them. As early as 1917, aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss, who had begun his career as a builder of bicycles and motorcycles, invented a flying car that he called the Autoplane. Accounts differ as to whether the vehicle ever left the ground, but it impressed enough […]

Private Preview 2007: Sunseeker 37-Meter Trideck Yacht

British yacht maker Sunseeker plans to launch what it considers to be the pinnacle of its product line by the end of this year. That is quite a claim, considering that this line already includes the 75 Predator (the 1999 British Nautical Awards’ Motorboat of the Year), the Sunseeker 105 (named best power boat in […]

Private Preview 2007: Castiglion Del Bosco

The rumble of construction equipment shatters the serenity of the rolling Tuscan hills at Castiglion del Bosco, a private resort club on nearly 4,400 cypress-dotted acres 60 miles south of Florence. By next fall, the first nine of the property’s 21 villas, as well as its boutique hotel and two restaurants, are scheduled to be […]

Germany’s Great White Hope

The Sturdy Stone Mansion that serves Manfred Prüm’s family as both their home and the headquarters for their J. J. Prüm winery stands on a southwesterly bank of the Mosel River in Wehlen, Germany, a place of unrelenting charm. Through a window in the parlor, I see a river cruiser coming around one of countless […]

Just Desserts

These are some of the most acclaimed Trockenbeerenausleses. (Prices will vary from one vintage to the next.)   Gunderloch Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese Rheinhessen Nackenheim Rothenberg In the 1890s, banker Carl Gunderloch used to trek from his home in Gundersblum, his place of birth, to his bank in Mainz. On these daily journeys he would observe how […]

Sport: Cooking in Provence

It is difficult to watch the Monaco Grand Prix or any other Formula One race without wondering how you might perform in an F/1 car. AGS Formule 1 offers the chance to find out. The company, whose facility is located in the gentle hills of Provence less than a two-hour drive from Monaco, will prep […]

Seeds of Change

I first saw the Dalat Palace Golf Club in 1994, when my newlywed Vietnamese wife and I cycled past a long string of peasants in conical hats, planting grass by hand. “For what?” my wife asked the foreman, who stood on the other side of bamboo fencing. “For this,” the man told her. And then […]

Back Page: The World Beneath The Waves

Scuba diving is a sport that defies categorization. Although it does not appear to be strenuous, participants must be healthy, fit, and willing to go through the process of earning, and occasionally renewing, their diving certifications. Diving resembles golf in that scuba equipment can be pricey and different gear is required for different situations, but […]

Seeds of Change: Going Green

  Dalat Palace Golf ClubSketched by a French architect in 1922, the Dalat Palace Golf Club did not begin to take shape until a decade later, when the last emperor of Vietnam spurred the course’s development. Today, this layout in the former colonial hill station of Dalat (a 50-minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City) […]

Private Preview 2007: St. Andrews Golf

The 30-mile stretch between the firths of Forth and Tay in eastern Scotland is hallowed ground for golfers. Muirfield, Kingsbarn, Carnoustie, and the legendary St. Andrews Links courses all play along this rolling strand of North Sea coastline. But just as Scots always seem to find room for one more wee dram of whisky, developers […]

FrontRunners: Rene Lalique

Rene Lalique (1860–1945) is best known for his stunning Art Nouveau vases, perfume bottles, chandeliers, and other glass pieces. But he began his career designing jewelry that created quite a stir because of its innovative pairings of semiprecious stones with materials that included ivory, coral, and even plastic. The piece pictured here, which combines 18-karat […]

FrontRunners: Minor Masterpieces

A different form of locomotion may appeal to younger travelers (or their parents at least). During his career, French designer Philippe Starck has left his mark on a variety of objects, buildings, and vessels—including the Elysée Palace in Paris and the Virtuelle racing sailboat—and now he has turned his hand to the baby buggy. Maclaren […]

Watches: The Journeyman

With clients scattered throughout the Mediterranean basin, Swiss private banker César Jean-Mairet was the archetypal frequent flier during the 1990s, when he logged as many as 185 days a year in the air. With so much idle time at his disposal, Jean-Mairet’s imagination often wandered from his business to his pleasure: watches. He would sketch […]

Wardrobe: Fit to Be Tried

Dr. Stephen Ellen slips out of his clothing and into a pair of flesh-colored underpants, which will disappear—virtually, that is—when he steps inside a 6-by-6-foot space that is equipped with special white lights. The lights flash for only six seconds, just long enough for a camera to record thousands of measuring points on Ellen’s body. […]

Jewelry: Era of His Ways

Mish Tworkowski has no use for a high-profile Madison Avenue storefront. Instead, the New York jewelry designer has clients visit him in his 1890s townhouse, which is fronted by a delightful garden. The tony, tree-lined residential street on New York’s Upper East Side is an unlikely locale for a boutique, but Tworkowski’s discreet address removes […]

Time: Reverso of Fortune

Jérôme Lambert, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 37-year-old CEO, understands that it will take more than his pet slogan “sky’s the limit” to change the culture and perception of a brand with a 173-year history that is strongly rooted in conservative classicism. So, over the last few years, Lambert has refocused the company’s design department to develop some of […]

Private Preview 2007: Breguet Double Tourbillon

Building on the legacy of a turn-of-the-19th-century watchmaker may seem limiting for a manufacturer during an era when modernism and technology dominate the industry. But when that watchmaker is Abraham-Louis Breguet, the foremost innovator of his time, such a mission enables his namesake brand to create a timepiece that rivals the most fanciful contemporary interpretations […]

Contributors: Charging Into The Future

The future of the automotive industry has arrived, believes Robb Report automotive editor Gregory Anderson, who previews the Tesla Roadster—an electric sports car that accelerates from zero to 60 mph in four seconds—as part of this month’s “Private Preview 2007” feature (beginning on page 103). “Most cars don’t develop their full torque until 3,000 or […]

From The Editors: Birdman On A Wire

If the idea of outracing a Ferrari F430 in a battery-powered sports car is crazy, it is no crazier than was Nikola Tesla, namesake of the Tesla Roadster, the electric car pictured on this issue’s cover and described by Robb Report automotive editor Gregory Anderson in the Private Preview 2007 feature (page 104). Tesla had […]

Wheels: Mercedes Muscle

In the very beginning, in the 1880s, while working independently and in separate workshops near Stuttgart, Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler invented the first automobiles, which eventually led to the creation of Mercedes-Benz. Fast-forward to 1967, when, in a Swabian village also close to Stuttgart, Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher formed a similarly significant partnership. […]

FrontRunners: High Style

  Gianni Versace Spa (www.versace.com) could make private aviation even more fashionable. The firm—which in recent years has expanded from haute couture into watches, jewelry, pens, fragrances, and home furnishings—will customize the interiors of private jets with assistance from the TAG Group, the parent company of the aircraft charter operator TAG Aviation (www.tagaviation .com). Versace […]

FrontRunners: Splashy Entrance

  SPLASHY ENTRANCE Catamarans, which at their most basic are two hulls connected by a frame, have evolved quite a bit since their invention thousands of years ago in the South Pacific. Consider the Ellips. This 28-foot aquatic oddity, built by Russia’s Paritet Boat (www.paritetboat.com), can accommodate a skipper and six passengers and reach about 75 […]

Boating: Lady and the Champ

When Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast in late August of 2005, the employees keeping watch at the 38-acre Trinity Yachts shipyard in New Orleans initially were not overly concerned. They had weathered major storms before.   Trinity, one of the country’s largest builders of super yachts, recently had completed its 180-foot […]

Wings & Water: Calculated Risks

Air show pilot Michael Goulian has flown upside down thousands of times. This will be my first. I hear his voice, calm and quiet, in my headset: “Watch the nose as it goes above the horizon.” We have climbed to about 4,000 feet over the western suburbs of Boston, surrounded by clear summer sky. Goulian […]

Wings & Water: Calculated Risks: Daredevil School

Fledgling aerobaticists have a variety of resources at their disposal. The textbook Basic Aerobatics, by aerobatics instructor Michael Goulian and aviation writer Geza Szurovy (TAB Books, 1994), provides a thorough introduction to the sport and will take you through the initial levels of competitive flying. When you finish, you can move up to Advanced Aerobatics […]

Private Preview 2007: Hatteras 77 Convertible

The Hatteras 77 Convertible, which will debut in October at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, would be a poor choice to replace Quint’s boat, Orca, in a Jawsremake. With the Hatteras, the film would lack any suspense, for the shark hunters would not need a bigger boat. In fact, they could not have a […]